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Microsoft Scraps 'Where's My Phone Update?' Site

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-when-you-least-expect-it dept.

Microsoft 162

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft disappointed some Windows Phone users on Friday by saying it would stop providing specifics about who will get software updates and when, and announcing vaguely that a new update is 'available to all carriers that request it.' The update fixes a few issues, including one that caused the on-screen keyboard to disappear and another that caused problems with synching Gmail. Eric Hautala, general manager of customer experience engineering for Windows Phone, said Microsoft will no longer say when people will get updates based on their country, phone model and carrier."

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162 comments

4, 3, 2, 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627446)

Get your popcorn! Hot fresh buttered popcorn here!

Disappointment (-1, Troll)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627458)

Microsoft disappointed some Windows Phone users[...]

Humm... all three of them?

Re:Disappointment (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627476)

When did they sell the third phone?

Re:Disappointment (0, Troll)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627744)

They're counting all the people who bought a Kin as well...

Re:Disappointment (0, Troll)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628274)

You jest, but Windows Phone is actually more popular than slashdotters think. On top of that it's predicted that with the help of Nokia, Windows Phone will have 12% market share in 2012 [winrumors.com].

Re:Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628572)

Everybody step right up. It's InsightingPony with this week's alias, pushing MS.

I believe the two sites, applerumors.com and androidrumors.com both say that WinPhone will have less than 2% market share in 2012.

Your guess is as good as mine, tho'

It's predicted that DCTech with have 52 more aliases in 2012.

Re:Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628716)

If Amazon is to be believed, people are generally happy with Windows phones.

Re:Disappointment (5, Insightful)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627496)

Microsoft just discovered that carriers prefer to NOT update phone software. Just like with android phones.

Re:Disappointment (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627842)

also, there should not have staged update for their phones. one of their big selling point was that every update was to be delivered to anyone on the release day

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/11/windows-phone-7-updates-can-carriers-block-them.ars

and then carriers bitched and moaned until it all changed for worse.

Re:Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629142)

Right there is the problem for microsoft vs apple in phoneland- ms keeps crumbling under other demands (carriers, people making fun of the kin) whereas apple just ignores a peoblem they dont want to deal with until it goes away... (flash, antennas, batteries etc...)

Re:Disappointment (3, Insightful)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628184)

Well you can hardly compare the situation in Android with that in WP7. When Google released ICS it took 3 months for any old phone to get an upgrade, some will never get an upgrade and some will get wait more than 6 months. By contrast it took less than 3 months for each and every WP7 device in the world to get the Mango - the most important WP7 update.

Yah (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628224)

Statistics are just confusing numbers to you right? Do a little search on the number of models of Android phones versus WP7 devices and also note that this is ONLY WP7 and not any earlier version of MS mobile while some Android phones have gotten multiple updates.

Re:Yah (2, Interesting)

DCTech (2545590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628286)

It has nothing to do with statistics. Windows Phone 7 terms mandate that manufacturers will update their phones. They are only allowed to skip one update. When the next update comes and if they have already skipped the previous update, manufacturers are required to update their previous phones. Android has no such terms and that's why manufacturers don't really like updating their phones.

Re:Yah (2)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628306)

You do realize that WP7 is entirely new OS unrelated to Windows Mobile, don't you? It even has different name. Up to now every phone released can run and in fact is running the latest version of the OS (except for the bugfix update that was released last week)

Re:Disappointment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627520)

Microsoft disappointed some Windows Phone users[...]

Humm... all three of them?

Old joke is old.

So ... how 'bout them niggers?

Re:Disappointment (4, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627524)

Better questions, since when is Microsoft disappointing Windows Phone users news?

Re:Disappointment (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627742)

Better questions, since when is Microsoft disappointing Windows Phone users news?

If the reviews on Amazon [amazon.com] are any indication, most people are pretty happy with their Windows Phones. The top 3 highest reviewed phones are all Windows Phones.

Re:Disappointment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627770)

If the sales on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Cell-Phones-Accessories-Service-Plans/zgbs/wireless/2407747011 are any indication the top three selling are all Android phones.

Re:Disappointment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627818)

McDonalds is the top selling food in the country, that doesn't mean it's the best.

The Ford F-150 is the top selling car in the country, does that make it better than an Infiniti G37?

Re:Disappointment (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628104)

McDonalds is the top selling food in the country, that doesn't mean it's the best.

The Ford F-150 is the top selling car in the country, does that make it better than an Infiniti G37?

Depends on how many sheets of drywall you need to take to a jobsite or home improvement project.

Re:Disappointment (2)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628110)

I don't think you thought that through. WP7 isn't the top selling but it is rated as the best. So that makes it the Infiniti G37 in your analogy?

Re:Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628322)

You do realize that 3/4 of those "reviews" (all 81 or so of them) are all from Microsoft shills, right?

Re:Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627824)

The fact that lots of people buy product A is largely irrelevant to whether or not people who purchased product B are dissapointed with it. Put another way, the fact that Bud Light is the top selling beer does nothing to make craft beer less delicious ;)

Re:Disappointment (3, Insightful)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627964)

Better questions, since when is Microsoft disappointing Windows Phone users news?

If the reviews on Amazon [amazon.com] are any indication, most people are pretty happy with their Windows Phones. The top 3 highest reviewed phones are all Windows Phones.

Hmmm. Think those may be astroturfing?

Re:Disappointment (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628020)

Nope, more like this [xkcd.com].

5-star reviews are useless, as always. Representative line:

One of my friends had only held it for literally five seconds before commenting on how amazing it was.

Or this HTC Titan review:

i love my wp7 its just the best phone ever the os is the best i have usaed on any cell phone. i got my wp7 phone in feb of 2011 and i have no problem with my lg Quantum and if the HTC Titan is that good i have to get my wife one.becouse my wife is geting it in feb of this year.

Rated 5-stars without even actually buying the phone yet.

Re:Disappointment (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628186)

How in the HELL does anyone manage to manipulate real world facts, to the extent that Windows has not one, not two, but the THREE top rated phones? FFS, I don't know of one single person in real life who is carrying around a Windows phone. Not one. iPhones are a dime a dozen, and Androids are about twenty cents per gross. Other proprietary OS's are common as lice in a prison. Window? If I want to actually see, and touch a Windows phone, I have to find a store where one is on display, collecting dust.

Top rated? They probably went to a nursing home, where no one had ever owned a cell phone, and distributed 20 Windows phone, and one broken Android. The old folks were then asked to rate those phones. The broken Android beat out the other 17 Windows phones.

Re:Disappointment (3, Insightful)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628196)

I have a Windows Phone and I will rate it pretty high. What is your point? Even if I am the only person in the world who owns Windows Phone that will still make the average rating pretty high. It will not mean that a lot of devices were sold, it will not mean that it is better than Android or iPhone. It will only mean that the average satisfaction of people who have WP7 is pretty high. Of course Amazon probably has some minimum number of reviews needed to rank the phone but I imagine this number is something like 20 and surely MS managed to sell 20 phones.

Re:Disappointment (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628216)

My point is, they are obviously not making comparisons to the entire pool of cell phone purchasers. Surveying a select subclass of cell phone purchasers can almost guarantee the results you are looking for.

If slashdot included a polling mechanism such as is available on VBB, we could post a survey for all slashdot users to respond to. "How would you rank x model phone?" Or, "What is your favorite phone?" Or, "Which phone do you think is the most technologically advanced?"

On the other hand, asking "Which Windows phone is your favorite?" would guarantee that Android couldn't win the poll.

Re:Disappointment (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628352)

Of course they are not, neither do they claim to compare the entire pool of cell phone purchasers. They compare reviews by people who wrote reviews. At this point WP users are mainly WP enthusiasts and they are really excited about the platform. As such they are more likely to write a review and their reviews are more likely to be favorable. This is a measure that should be taken for what is - a customer satisfaction, not popularity of the platform, not some kind of grade on the OS. The only thing it means is that WP7 buyers are not disappointed.

Re:Disappointment (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628470)

I have a Windows phone, and like it. Windows Mobile, though -- I've no experience of WP7.

Re:Disappointment (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628548)

And here I thought I was the only one on Slashdot who have actually liked the good old Windows Mobile.

Re:Disappointment (2)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628598)

This might just means Microsoft hired more bloggers than Google to boost their ratings. Also they don't have any iOS devices that I can see. Also note the top three unlocked phones are all running Android.

Re:Disappointment (5, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627574)

"OS updates manditory" was one of the great selling points they had over Android, now it's "OS updates available to carrier on request". Yeah.

I predict Windows Mobile "fragmentation" stories and much gnashing of teeth.

Re:Disappointment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628042)

This is just yet another case haters on the internet moving the goalposts in order to hate on MS. IT also shows why no matter how good MS's products are, they simply can't when.

When WP7 forced carriers to update, all the digerati ignored WP7's great reviews and made fun of it. "The two people that bought Windows Phones seem to like them hahahaha. Guess they don't mind the BSODs LOLOLLOl!". According to Slashdot posters, Android is the BEST (even though you have to deal with fragmentation, etc).

MS desperately wants their (good) products to be more successful, so now they drop their update requirements and be more like people'es beloved Android... and now people hate on WP7 FOR THAT.

MS is always damned if they do and damned if they don't because people don't give them a fair shake. Focus on everything bad about MS while focusing on everything good about MS's competitors.

Re:Disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628610)

> Focus on everything bad about MS while focusing on everything good about MS's competitors.

Good thing there are still competitors, because the DOJ could not stop M$ from its psycho tendency to kill them.

Now you want us to love M$? Give them fair treatment after the knifing of babies? Hellooo?

I don't believe you're a shill, because even a shill would have a better training.

So stop being stupid.

I'll give a fair treatment to them after they get a reputation of being a good corporation, like Google. Such reputation cannot be bought with cakes, it has to be earned -- and sometimes it takes 30 years for that to happen. Oh, wait, M$ is just as old and has always been evil (see Gates' manifesto).

So, thanks, but no, thanks.

Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0, Flamebait)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627472)

I have been preaching for years that a Corporate Monopoly on phones such as Microsoft would never be able to stand the test of time against an open platform such as Android. There is no way that I would allow such proprietary lock in on something so important such as my phone. I'd rather control my data, thank you.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (4, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627478)

yea cause there is no way an Android phone would never get updated, you just have to do a sudo apt-get install and your cupcake turns into a ice cream sandwich

Microsoft, Google, or Apple ... who do you want to get fucked by today, and will it really matter tomorrow?

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (1, Flamebait)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627632)

Actually I can do an apt-get whateverthefuckiwantincludingmoo on my Nokia N9.

Thank you.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627650)

Which is likely one of the smaller reasons why maemo/meego on phones was killed in the crib.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627652)

So long as the expectations of "whatever the fuck I want" are reduced enough to only include what will run, oftentimes held up by the programming/administration equivalents of duct tape and rubber cement, on an aging piece of shit phone whose hardware wasn't all that hot to begin with and was never supported by anyone other than Nokia themselves, and will definitely never have anything resembling a successor thanks to their all-but-explicit admission that they never gave a shit about the Linux community after they sold out wholeheartedly and quickly to Microsoft as soon as they waved a dollar amount in front of their faces.

But sure. You go ahead and do that. Meanwhile, since I never got the memo to take Overly Obsessive Fanboy Skills 101 during my early nerd-brain development, I'll keep hosting my webserver on things that AREN'T my goddamned phone and use an SSH client (available for phones other than the N900, you know) to do everything important than an N900 apparently needs a full Linux distro installed for* without having to stress myself over whether or not my favoritest ever phone ever will be able to host more than five visitors at a time.

*: Wait, it doesn't? Then why the fuck are you bragging about running all this shit on a slow-ass phone with a crappy data connection? "Because I can" was only impressive when you first did it, then when we all realized how useless doing that was, that answer started becoming a liability more than even an excuse.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627752)

Why don't geeks have the ability to understand consumers? is it like a lesion in the brain that simply blinds them to everyone not like them? As someone who builds and sells all matter of electronic gizmos to the consumer I'll be happy to tell you why they really don't give a shit how locked down a phone is, you ready?

Get this, it'll blow your mind...a phone is not a computer to them you see, not at all, its "A screen with buttons that Googles and is disposable" and that's IT. That's all it is, its a screen with buttons that does Google and they throw it in a drawer when their contract is up and get another one. This is why the carriers can do any damned thing they want, because a phone is just a phone to the consumer. Its also why they don't care about Windows on a tablet because a tablet is not a computer its "a screen i poke that does Google, lets me read books and plays Angry birds" and I can tell you with most of the consumers I've seen they rarely use it for even Google, its a fancy book reader that plays Angry Birds. same as ARM and MIPS netbooks won't go anywhere because a netbook is not a general computing device its a "cute baby laptop" and as such should do everything a big laptop does only slower, because babies are littler than grown ups and so not as strong you see?

So you see its isn't about Linux VS MSFT VS Apple or any of that shit, not to the million upon millions actually getting the things, its a phone that does Google. You wanna know why iPhone is so popular? It looks cool and plays lots of games real good like...Angry Birds. Do you think even 10% of them can name what OS it runs? And people like my dad are getting Android not because they give a flying fuck about freedom to tinker, they saw "that cute little green dancing thingie" and it looks nice and plays Angry Birds. this is why MSFT is having a hell of a time getting into mobile because people see the Windows or MSFT name and think "Why would I want Windows on my phone? I don't want to play Farmville or the sims on my phone" and they ignore it. You see consumers are strange and curious creatures, nothing like the geek in any way shape or form.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628164)

They don't care about lockdown until it effects them, which isn't when they buy the phone new. While they update every 18 month no problem. Everyone not doing this cares as soon as they see what others can do on a rooted phone.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628270)

Why don't geeks have the ability to understand consumers? is it like a lesion in the brain that simply blinds them to everyone not like them? As someone who builds and sells all matter of electronic gizmos to the consumer I'll be happy to tell you why they really don't give a shit how locked down a phone is, you ready?

It's fairly common human nature to base your opinions of others (including "what you think they think") using yourself as a template.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627498)

So, I'm guessing you're one of the lucky few that got carrier upgrades/ an unlocked bootloader / manufacturer upgrades?

Android's situation in this case is actually worse than Microsoft's

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627994)

Android's situation in this case is worse than Microsoft's because Android is "open source".

FTFY

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627502)

Is an update your data?

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (2)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627562)

Microsoft has a monopoly on phones? When did that happen? I think you'll find that the 'open' Android is much closer to a monopoly. Then again most of us using Android are in the same place as the Windows Phone users. Manufacturers and Carriers would rather sell us a new phone.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627616)

I think a lot of us will agree that the less control over mobile Microsoft has, the better.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (2, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627682)

I hate to say it but I'd prefer Microsoft to the phone companies.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627710)

Often an incompitant master is better than a compitant one?

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38629118)

When they both want to screw you, yes. At least the incompetent one will screw up at screwing you.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627622)

Indeed. This was most likely Carrier X getting tons of 'bad calls' from customers because they knew that Carrier Y had already delivered updates etc.

We can't have competition with real data to back up the customer now can we

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627932)

Is there a reason why the customers cannot put up such a page themselves? Just have a wiki where people can enter when they got updates, based on country, carrier and phone model. There's not even a need to have that page restricted to Windows phones.

Re:Open Source vs a Corporate Monopoly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628140)

Sure they can. The point here is that it was Microsoft doing it. Carriers felt threatened by that definitive source of information. With any old user page on the internet, they could easily say it to be false.

Apple doesn't get enough credit here (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627494)

They took the phone manufacturers and carries out of the update process. When they release their updates, users of current and recently released devices get the update which they can apply. The other mobile OS makers need to make the same sort of change or they fear annoying what users they have left.

Re:Apple doesn't get enough credit here (3, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627506)

yea that is a lot easier when you only have one product to support (hint thats apple's magic, similar to how the Model T was really easy to find touch up paint for)

Re:Apple doesn't get enough credit here (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627572)

Enough years have gone by they have a lot of different product lines, and different versions of the same product (different runs of the different parts, that sort of thing).

Getting carriers to go along with that for anyone else is an uphill battle. The iPhone basically got one carrier to agree to this scheme, and everyone else has to go along with it because it's just that awesome (supposedly), and sells that much. But they aren't happy about it, and I'm sure they don't really want to let it happen again.

Assuming microsoft supports it further, I could go for their model of 'carrier approved, or you get a developer unlock, but you take your chances with developer unlock', over the android model of.. uh... each carrier runs its own show, or the apple model of 'we tell you what show you wanted to watch'.

Re:Apple doesn't get enough credit here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628694)

Who voted this as 'insightful'?! It's not even true! Apple support updates back to the iPhone 3GS, that's 3 models. Sure, that's as many as HTC will knock out over a lunchtime on a slow day but it's not one model. Every owner of any of those three models has been able to update whenever they were ready, not when the carrier decided to allow it. Also, the Model T introduced the moving production line, so I wouldn't be so quick to criticize.

700,000 New Android Phones A Day (3, Interesting)

AddisonW (2318666) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627596)

http://www.businessinsider.com/android-activations-2011-12 [businessinsider.com]

"The other mobile OS makers need to make the same sort of change or they fear annoying what users they have left."

Boggle.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (3, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627660)

Well, Android is selling like cocaine hotcakes.

But I, for one, am sick of getting no support from the manufacturers of my last two Android phones. Next time I'm up for a new phone, I am going to give the iPhone very serious consideration.

Maybe it's only nerds like me and other Slashdot posters who care about getting OS updates for their phones, rather than the general market... but it is a major shortcoming of the Android ecosystem when compared to Apple's offering.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (3, Insightful)

woodsbury (1581559) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627702)

Well, if you want Android but you want to get updates straight from the OS manufacturer like you do with the iPhone... then get a Nexus? That's what they're for.

It's the same as the people who complain about the custom skin on their phone and say they just want plain, vanilla Android. Some people don't care about that, but if you're someone who does, then the Nexus range of phones is specifically designed for you.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627866)

Not always that easy to get a nexus on the carrier you want.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628592)

Not easy to get a nexus at all, if you don't live in USA

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627736)

This is a concern of mine too. Some manufacturers (Motorola, HTC) announce which phones they plan to upgrade to what versions of Android. I think one of their challenges is the 5 gazillion different phones they constantly release. Every month. Everyone would probably be better off taking the Apple approach, having one really solid, good phone out at a time that people could get behind and which would be easier to maintain (updates and what not).

Apparently the only "true" line of up-to-date Android phones is the Google-sanctioned Nexus series. I think Samsung is the one making them now. That would be the best you'd get on an Android device.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628056)

I never got that strategy of releasing a gazillion products all the time in the first place, not for any device. Why does Sony release 100's of more-or-less the same televisions? HP right now has 89 printers on sale [hp.com], and those are only the current models. You see the same thing with virtually every tech company.

As far as I can see, all it accomplishes is a support nightmare. Why doesn't Dell just sell 3 great laptops, 3 great servers and 3 great desktops? Wouldn't that result in both better products and less costs? It seems like only Apple and the car industry follow the approach of limiting their product range. All other companies seem to think it's better to have a huge collection of only marginally different products in their catalogue. Very strange in my opinion.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628112)

Well, printers range from no-need-to-hurry small home printers to hundred page per minute office printers, there are color, monochrome, jet, laser, duplex and not, networked and not, different paper feeds, and so on and so on.

Same with computers - whole range from "help me through high-school" to "shuffle serious CAD projects".

Smart companies just reduce my-eyes-glaze-over effect from this choice by presenting a few pre-built models and letting you choose options when ordering.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628316)

I just don't buy that argument. Sure, HP needs to make a few different kinds of printers. 10 different models sounds reasonable. Maybe even 20. But 90? That's just insane. The same goes with televisions, computers, everything really, including phones. Offering a single model is a bit extreme, but I think offering 30+ more-or-less the same products is way more bizarre.

You're totally right about the options. I understand that a few base models with each a handful of options will result in an equally huge amount of products. But that doesn't seem to be what most companies are doing. I don't think there really is a base model HP printer, a base model Dell computer, a base model Sony television or a base model Samsung/HTC phone. To me, the entire product catalogue of these sort of companies seem to be quite random, like a shot of hail. I guess it has a lot to do with avoiding the risk of not selling anything at all, but it does seem to be horribly inefficient.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628358)

Well, as another commenter pointed out below, base model + options is basically the same as having many models.

Naming separate combinations makes sense when there's many retailers for same product - trying to find and compare prices for two PH BurnJet 666dn printers is easier than for "PH BurnJet 666 w/Ethernet automatic duplex" and "PH BurnJet 666 network support: yes, Ethernet duplex support: automatic".

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628368)

That is, HPs confusing 90 items listing is mostly presentation fault - they should have just folded minor variations in a single item with optional models displayed on click, for example.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628282)

HP right now has 89 printers on sale [hp.com], and those are only the current models. You see the same thing with virtually every tech company.

Quite a few of those are the exact same printer but with the optional extra duplex unit/network card/wireless LAN fitted in the factory. The car industry simply calls it one car, several trim levels and gives you a list of optional extras you can choose to have fitted. If they were to call it a separate model name for each trim level and each optional extra, you'd see the same thing.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628344)

Is that really so? Because I've been browsing through HP's offering of printers and I don't really see the overlap. Sure, a few of them are more-or-less the same, but most of what they're selling (at least by the looks) appear to be quite different.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628552)

Is that really so? Because I've been browsing through HP's offering of printers and I don't really see the overlap. Sure, a few of them are more-or-less the same, but most of what they're selling (at least by the looks) appear to be quite different.

I've just drilled through the A4/letter size ink jets to test this theory. I have made the following assumptions:

  • If two printers take the same cartridge, they're based on more-or-less the same engine - though they may be in a slightly different plastic case. As HP cartridges include the printhead - and an inkjet printer is little more than a couple of stepper motors to feed the paper, move the printhead and some driver electronics to control it - this seems reasonable to me.
  • I've limited this to A4 ink jets because I don't have time to go through every printer on the site. Feel free to pick up where I left off!

My findings are as follows:

Total number of printers examined: 13
Different types of cartridge used: 4

Detail:

Deskjet 1000, 3000, 3050 all take the refill known as "61". The 3000 is basically a 1000 with WLAN, the 3050 introduces MFD (scanning & copying) abilities.

Officejet 6000, 6000 Wireless, 6500A all take the refill known as "920". The 6000 Wireless introduces Wireless networking; the 6500A introduces MFD abilities complete with an automated document feeder. There are two separate product lines for the 6500A listed - one of them comes with a couple of extra cartridges.

Photosmart 5510, 5514, Premium, 6510, eAll In One Plus, PS Plus ePlus all take the refill known as "564". The 5514 is a 5510 with duplex; the 6510 introduces an "automatic photo tray" (whatever that is), the Premium has a larger screen. I'm not sure what's added with the "Plus" models.

Officejet 4500 takes the refill known as 901. It is an MFD with wired networking. As it doesn't support WLAN (most of the others do), it isn't labelled as "new" and it's the only one that takes the 901 refill, I suspect it's the last remaining one from a line that's shortly to be discontinued. If I had to hazard a guess, probably in favour of the OfficeJet 6500A - though the 4500 is rather cheaper.

Re:700,000 New Android Phones A Day (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38629106)

McDonalds sell a million hamburgers a day, so does that mean every hamburger seller must do what McDonalds do?

Android phones range from tacky cheap to quality expensive, so do all it's mainstream competitors need to cover the same range? Of course not. So as usual, pure sales figures are meaningless.

Hey! I'ts the Multi-Account Apple Troll bonch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627606)

What's with the AC posting? Tired of making new troll accounts just to have them modded into oblivion?

Re:Apple doesn't get enough credit here (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627614)

For every handset vendor to do this you would need to break the control carriers have over the handset market.

MS isn't the problem (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627530)

Just speaking from my experiences with Blackberries, the slowdown always seems to be on the Telco's end. There had been many important updates which were put out by Blackberry... but ATT wouldn't release them for a month, or sometimes a few months, after Blackberry released it.

This is, once again, another example of why these companies need to be "dumb pipes" through which we access the internet. There's no practial reason we can't have a phone which simply connects to the internet for all it's needs, aside from the Telco's blocking it from happening.

Re:MS isn't the problem, but they are neither the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627890)

MS isn't the problem, but they are neither the solution.

What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (2, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627552)

What happened to phones that Just Work? I don't want to update my phone. It must be reliable, just like an analogue wire line phone used to be.

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627568)

They got 'smart'

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627576)

The updates generally don't affect your use case, so you can feel free to ignore them.
There are still "dumb" phones available, if you prefer.

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627580)

then don't buy a smartphone.

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627584)

What happened to phones that Just Work? I don't want to update my phone. It must be reliable, just like an analogue wire line phone used to be.

"used to be"? (checks dial tone and breathes sigh of relief).

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627646)

Get a Nokia 3310 and be happy.

It Just Works (Even If You Throw It at the Wall). Dare to try that with your sissy smartphones, eh?

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627672)

Smartphones are complex, they have too many lines of code to not require a few updates now and then (unless the market decided to pay way more for software, but that's unlikely). Just get a dumbphone if you don't care about useless features - they're cheaper and don't require you to recharge them as often.

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (1)

Kufat (563166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627704)

Here you go. [greatcall.com]

Seriously, if people want computer functionality on phones, they're going to have to deal with the associated tradeoffs. A lot of people stick with feature phones for just this reason; I did too until recently. Nothing wrong with either choice as long as it comes from an informed decision.

Re:What happened to phones that 'Just Work'? (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628068)

What makes you think a phone with the occasional software update isn't reliable?

An OS update for 14 or 15 users != cost effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627680)

Microsoft ran some spreadsheets and determined their 0.23% marketshare by default means that an update was neither urgent nor financially justified.

convenient for microsoft (2)

WML MUNSON (895262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627728)

the first update affected by this policy change benefits a competitor. what severity is the gmail bug which this patch claims to address?

Re:convenient for microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38627946)

the first update affected by this policy change benefits a competitor. what severity is the gmail bug which this patch claims to address?

A gmail bug on a windows7 phone is no problem. In fact there are those in Redmond who just might consider it an indispensable feature. The same as a default store bought Windows computer not being able to burn .iso files to disk without installing something.
You can bet your ass that there are no bugs hooking up to MSN!

So I can very well see by letting the carries and Microsoft dictate which web e-mail service your users will switch to because their gmail account is cooked on their phone7 is definitely a feature that both the carriers and Microsoft really desire. Shit I am on Bell in Canada and sure I can use gmail on my old LG simian OS Xenon 501.

But the data rates and interface that I had to install makes it so integration into the phone costs so much to use that I do not even check my gmail with my phone unless I absolutely need to.

So do not be surprised if the strategy is already in place between the carriers, who really do want to sell windows based smart phone, and Microsoft, who is desperate to get in on the action, is to setup an integrated smart phone e-mail system that will lock out gmail and android completely.

We are talking about a company who can with cash and corporate bribery muscle in on the action ...just the hearts and minds of the consumer, who in reality are just sheep to be sheared in their eyes, need to become convinced first.

SO the strategy for this year of the Windows Phone goes like this. I have this information on good authority... as my own brain or any body with one can easily see what is going on quite clearly. This is the year that the corporate e-mail industry will finally be wrested out the hands of a Canadian company. The governments of both Canada and the United States could care less about the consumer any more and will just stand aside as all this occurs.

1. Keep convincing the world that Google thus Android is evil ...with the help of mouth pieces everywhere including this forum.

2. Get the carriers to sell cheap locked down Windows phones that are reliable enough to not require updates, but do not integrate with Google web services other than the search engine and push integrated web services that Microsoft helps fund. This will cut into Google's bottom line because the search capabilities of Google are free and more and more smart phones whacking away at Google will eventually slow it down.

3. Charge only for premium add on services in complete agreement and in collusion with the carriers.

4. Finally compete on an even playing field with Apple.

5. Buy out the corpse that is RIM in 2012 before Google even has a chance. I would not be too surprised if there are not a few trojan horse execs in place already in the board rooms at rim...Hell it worked for them with Nokia why not in Canada?

I will not be surprised if all this does come to pass but it will be a very sad state of affairs if all this really does happen. The first signs of the "big push" will happen when all of a sudden the tech shills at Fox and MSNBC start constantly hammering away at how bad Google is and how evil they have become by using their technology to track users the crap even starts hitting slashdot and engadget.....OMFG I think I am having a 2011 flash back ...I take back every thing I have posted.....

Re:convenient for microsoft (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628158)

the first update affected by this policy change benefits a competitor. what severity is the gmail bug which this patch claims to address?

A gmail bug on a windows7 phone is no problem. In fact there are those in Redmond who just might consider it an indispensable feature. The same as a default store bought Windows computer not being able to burn .iso files to disk without installing something.

"DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run" is the quote yer lookin' for, kid.

Re:convenient for microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628266)

the first update affected by this policy change benefits a competitor. what severity is the gmail bug which this patch claims to address?

A gmail bug on a windows7 phone is no problem. In fact there are those in Redmond who just might consider it an indispensable feature. The same as a default store bought Windows computer not being able to burn .iso files to disk without installing something.

"DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run" is the quote yer lookin' for, kid.

Yoo I am da poster and being around here for a shitlong time I will give you the best one along that line..."hey, hey the jobs not done ..till one two three won't run" An actual chant mantra from long ago in redmond when they really took over things in the business world for good. My point is that if RIM gets eaten up and sells their secure mail system to Microsoft then the whole ball game changes in the cell phone industry. You can bet your ass that this possibility gives Steve Ballmer wet dreams every night.

Like I said the carriers are easy pickins' for microshaft all you have to do is completely obscure how you suddenly took over the corporate email business and I am sure that the current Canadian government could care less the same way they could care less about other Canadian companies that have been raped by microshaft. And RIM is definitely been made ripe for the pickins' bub.

  Those two corporate guys who got there ass thrown off the plane might already be working for Redmond for all we know. Some how their behaviour was a little too stupid to believe that it was in no way deliberate to get out of any NDA they might have agreed to. I just wonder what their specialities are. Getting fired to get out of an NDA is one hell of a good idea though, so if this is really what happened I give them credit for being really creative!

Re:convenient for microsoft (2)

cdrnet (1582149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628512)

Can't be very serious. I have multiple gmail accounts configured on my WP7.5 and never even heard there is supposed to be an issue with gmail, even though I do follow WP7 news actively enough.

A quick google search does indeed reveal some people having issues around the end of 2010, or something related to syncing with google accounts without gmail (i.e. bound to some other email address).

Re:convenient for microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38628828)

Can't be very serious. I have multiple gmail accounts configured on my WP7.5 and never even heard there is supposed to be an issue with gmail, even though I do follow WP7 news actively enough.

A quick google search does indeed reveal some people having issues around the end of 2010, or something related to syncing with google accounts without gmail (i.e. bound to some other email address).

Point that I made was not so much a GMAIL issue. If you know anything about Crackberries then you will know that the secure texting and sync to mail is the whole key to their success. Not more than 3 years ago you did not do business without having a funny look from your boss if your phone could not sync to his phone. So you ran out and got one, plain and simple.

"They are primarily known for their ability to send and receive (push) email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption. Blackberry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features, including BlackBerry Messenger.

Essentially the sale of the network and their tech, their real assets, might be happening this year unless they do something like what Nokia did and swallow the Coolaid from Redmond.

What I foresee is the integration of MSN cloud and RIM...if this happens GMAIL will become irrelevant. You can bet that when you boot up your new carrier and Microsoft phone you will have an instant gadget on the screen right in front of you to set up your combined email and texting and just guess who the default setup choice will send you to in a flash ...register your phone number and instantly create and activate a full service cloud account before you even go on the net to google.com

Sorry to say but this is how Microshaft works they are superb at taking choice away from the consumer without the consumer even knowing that there is a choice...ie IE

Re:convenient for microsoft (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38628982)

Can't be very serious. I have multiple gmail accounts configured

It works. That's critical issue.

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